The problem with “strong” women

Weaponized: Emily Blunt in Sicario (photo from Lionsgate)

Weaponized: Emily Blunt in Sicario (photo from Lionsgate)

In a late-September comment about Emily Blunt’s role in Sicario, I asked whether women taking up arms alongside men in TV and film is the kind of equality we really want. This form of strength isn’t a new concern for me. A few years ago, one of my friends answered my question about this by saying that, as long as so many of our movies and TV shows involve action heroes, she wants some of those heroes to be women. Sometimes I’ve avoided the issue. In a recent post about the work of a playwright (who happens to be a woman), I omitted this exchange:

How important is it to have strong female lead characters like Rosalind [Franklin]?
Hugely important! And it’s also important, I think, to show scientists (and female scientists) as human beings.

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